A new report alleges that the International Game Developer Association has mishandled a number of complaints about incidents of abuse, despite the organization publicly denouncing the video game industry for ignoring abuse victims for decades. years.
In a damning report from GamesIndustry.biz, it was revealed that the IGDA failed to follow its own rules and code of conduct when investigating complaints about alleged workplace misconduct.
The bulk of the report focuses on the internal investigation of the chair of the IGDA Women in Games special interest group and IGDA Foundation Next Generation Leaders alumnus, Jennifer Scheurle. She resigned from her position following accusations of emotional abuse, harassment and manipulation, but the report alleges that despite the IGDA Foundation’s conclusion that there was insufficient evidence of wrongdoing , the investigation left many accusers unsatisfied.
The report claims that in 2019, a complaint filed by 11 people detailing Scheurle’s misconduct was dismissed by the organization for lack of evidence, despite the complaint also citing several industry veterans who were not at the scene. comfortable working with her.
In addition to not pursuing the complaint thoroughly, the IGDA Foundation also broke confidentiality and let the content of the complaint be discussed within the organization – one of Scheurle’s supporters contacted one complainants. The IGDA Foundation later apologized for this.
In 2020, a subsequent complaint was filed by 14 accusers and six allies against Sheeurle to the IGDA, but despite an initial 34-page document and an additional 78 pages of follow-up evidence, the IGDA allegedly failed to follow up on its own guidelines and further contact those who complained.
GamesIndustry.biz claimed that these were not isolated incidents at Scheurle, and that it uncovered a “worrying pattern at the IGDA, showing a failure to follow the internal investigation system that the organization itself has put in place to handle the problems”.
Apparently, another person GamesIndustry.biz contacted was harassed by an IGDA regional chapter leader and no action was taken despite them following the internal process for reporting concerns.
Lack of resources is thought to be to blame, as the organization cannot track the complaints it receives due to the low number of staff dedicated to such issues. The IGDA told GamesIndustry.biz that it had created a more comprehensive complaints handling system that would involve an ethics committee.
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